When you were in school, did your English or composition teacher tell you to write in active voice, not passive voice? There’s a good reason for entrepreneurs to take that advice not just in writing, but in pretty much every element of communication. Why does being passive hurt you as an entrepreneur? Business owners frequently have to do a lot of convincing:
- convincing someone to invest in your company,
- convincing someone to buy your product, or
- convincing someone to give you a loan.
Being persuasive goes hand-in-hand with being confident. If you exude confidence and reliability, you’ll be more likely to sway people. But if you seem week and inexperienced, people will be less keen to trust you. Here are behaviors to avoid that make you seem like a passive person:
When you ramble, you come across as unsure of yourself and unconfident in your company. Maintain a clear-headed attitude no matter how nervous you might be to talk to somebody important. And think before you talk. There’s nothing wrong with taking a second to gather your thoughts, instead of saying whatever pops into your head. After you give an answer, stick to it. You will come across as unreliable if you’re changing your answer while walking the other person through your entire thought process.
2. Undervaluing Yourself
Before an important meeting with a prospective client, business partner, or investor, take a few moments to reflect on the work you’ve done. You’ve likely devoted countless hours to building your company from the ground up. So don’t go into that meeting and say something like, “Our company’s pretty new, and we’re not that big or successful, and I know you have other options…” Be confident, and know what you are worth.
3. Being Too Laid-Back
There’s a time and place to be easygoing and laid-back, but the workplace is not it. In the business world, seeming laid-back as an entrepreneur can come across as you not caring that much about your business. Make sure you’re adopting the right mannerisms and body language to exude confidence and professionalism. For example, have a handshake that is strong and firm, not one that is like a limp fish. You may not even realize that your handshake is weak. Practice with people you know.
4. Not Asking Questions
You never know when a prospective partner, supplier, or investor may walk into the same elevator as you or bump into you on the street. Always be prepared to have a conversation about your small business. But don’t just ramble on about why your company is so unique and different. Ask questions to other people about how you can help them, what you can do to contribute to their company. Always ask how you can help others, and they will be much more responsive.
When it comes to being a business owner, your attitude is just as important as your aptitude. Keep that in mind as you go about your small business adventures. For more information, visit www.biz2credit.com.